|Artifacts and Archaeology||Bicentennial Events|
|General Lewis and Clark Information||Lewis and Clark Graphics and Images|
|Lewis and Clark Journals||Lewis and Clark Maps|
|Natural History and Lewis and Clark||Organizations|
|Traveling the Lewis and Clark Trail|
A number of organizations (government and private) exist that can be very helpful to those interested in the epic saga of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The private organizations are open for public membership, and I encourage anyone with any interest in the history of the Lewis and Clark expedition to join one or more of these organizations.
First to mention is the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation (LCTHF). In my opinion, their quarterly publication We Proceeded On is worth the price of the membership by itself. The LCTHF also has a number of local chapters - check with the National Foundation to see if there is one in your area!
Second, a more transitory organization and an off-shoot of the LCTHF, is the National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council. This organization will promote educational programs, cultural sensitivity and harmony, and the sustaining stewardship of natural and historical resources along the route of the expedition. They deserve and could use your support.
Last but not least, is the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail section of the National Park Service. As with the above organizations, they maintain a very informative web site. You can contact the NPS for brochures and other information about the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
General Lewis and Clark Information
The most compelling web site I have come across for general information on various aspects of the Lewis and Clark and Corps of Discovery is Dr. Joseph Mussulman's Discovering Lewis and Clark site. Another very useful site is the Jefferson National Expansion Museum's Lewis & Clark Journey of Discovery site.
For access to primary historic documents, please go search at the Library of Congress's American Memory All Collections Search site, the St. Louis Circuit Court Historical Records Project, and the Library of Congress's special exhibits page. I also recommend Senator Byron Dorgan's web site Lewis and Clark in North Dakota which is not limited to North Dakota, but contains the text and facsimiles of historic documents from the National Archives and Records Administration. These primary historic documents give you a real feel for the times and may serve to encourage some of you to get serious about researching a particular topic. So here are some places to start!
President George W. Bush has officially declared that the years 2003 - 2006 encompass the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. A huge number of events are planned to commemorate various aspects and accomplishments of the expedition. To find out more about these, I suggest using the event calendar maintained by the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.
However, a few events deserve special mention here:The National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial has endorsed fifteen high-level Signature Events.
The National Lewis and Clark Exhibition which will travel to five cities.
The National Park Service's Corps II traveling exhibit.
The Journey's End National Art Exhibition in Astoria, OR.
Another aspect of the expedition that comes up again and again is;"Who were the members of the expedition and am I somehow related to them?" Although the genealogical aspects of this question are beyond the scope of my knowledge, there are finally some web sites that will serve as good starting points. For a quick list of the members of the Corps of Discovery, visit the Gene Pool Roster site, Or, better yet, take advantage of Irving Anderson's wonderful biographies of the members of the expedition at PBS Online - Lewis and Clark: Inside the Corps, or Clarke's, Men of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. A wonderful project underway to collect information on Expedition descendants is The Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery Descendant Project. I recommend that you start here. In addition, there are a number of pages devoted to specific families of members of the expedition:John Shields
Joseph and Reubin Field
Lewis Family History
Willard Family Association
William E. Bratton of Lewis and Clark Fame
Lewis and Clark Journals
The Lewis and Clark expedition was one of the best documented expeditions that history has to offer. A number of expedition members maintained journals - not just Captains Lewis and Clark. The web has some catching up to do in this area, but it is not entirely devoid of journal material. Many sites contain snippets of journal entries, but at this time, the site that contains the most material (though still far short of what exists) is the University of Virginia's Journals of Lewis and Clark site. This same material can also be found at lewisandclark.state.mt.us/Journals/. Other noteworthy collections of journal quotes can be found at the PBS site and at Lewis and Clark in Idaho: The Archive.Original Materials
The Library of Congress has posted a graphic facsimile of the original 1814 publication of the Biddle edition of the History of the Expedition. Because this material is available only in a page-by-page graphic format, it can be cumbersome to use and, the two-volume Biddle edition is heavily edited and contains only a fraction of the existant journal material, but it is still a valuable on-line resource. Click on these links to examine Volume 1 and Volume 2.
I have received a number of inquiries as to where to find the original journal materials. The great bulk of the original Lewis and Clark journals are in the possession of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. Also in Philadelphia are three journals of Sergeant Ordway's that were rediscovered in 1913 among the papers of Nicholas Biddle, the original editor of the L&C; journals. The State Historical Society of Missouri in St. Louis (in the Voorhis Collection) has a set of five journals (four in red leather and the other bound in elk skin) that are primarily in Clark's handwriting. They also have (in the Breckinridge Collection) a memorandum book of Clark's that dates from the 1809-1810 period after the expedition. The Newberry Library in Chicago has the journal of Sergeant Whitehouse. The Historical Society of Wisconsin in Madison has the journal of Sergeant Floyd. The original journal of Sergeant Gass disappeared after publication of his book in 1807 and has never again been found. There is evidence that both Privates Frazer and Williard also maintained journals, but these too have never surfaced. In 1953, a book of Clark's field notes from their 1803 - 1804 winter camp at Wood River (Camp DuBois) was found in an attic and is now in the possession of the Yale University Library in New Haven, Connecticut. The Filson Club in Louisville, KY is in the possession of a number of William Clark letters, four dating from the expedition era. These letters will be published for the first time in 2002.
Also see the following links:
BEINECKE, LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION MAPS AND RECEIPT and of course, the Library of Congress's American Memory Collection.
Lewis and Clark Graphics and Images
Since most images are protected by copyright and/or trademark laws, there are legal difficulties in compiling a direct archive of Lewis and Clark related images.
First stop, I recommend perusing my list of Visual Sources and Artifacts.
Looking for Lewis and Clark is an online resource that links to Lewis & Clark images already on the web.
There is also the wonderful List of Lewis and Clark Illustrations from the American Philosophical Society Library. This site includes images directly from the journals of Lewis and Clark as well as associated images such as those drawn by Charles Willson Peale of the specimens returned Lewis and Clark.
Also see the Academy of Natural Science's digital imagery set entitled The Lewis and Clark Herbarium.
Other useful sites include the works of one artist (Jim Wark at AirPhoto), and a list of photographers who can provide original photographs of sites along the Lewis and Clark Trail.
More generally, search for images yourself using Google Image Search or ditto.com, a visual search engine.
Lewis and Clark Maps
The web is finally catching up in regard to map materials. Check out the impressive map technology utilized by the National Lewis and Clark Education Center. There are also interesting technologies utilized with the Interactive Map of Lewis and Clark and the Lewis and Clark Across Missouri sites.
A map, drawn by Samuel Lewis from an original William Clark map, is the Library of Congress' A map of Lewis and Clark's track, across the western portion of North America site. I encourage you to visit this site and download the Multi-Resolution Seamless Image Database (MrSID) viewer and then examine this map in detail. You can also buy a copy of this map. The paper measures 32.75" by 17" with the map itself measuring 27" by 12". It is marked with a 1998 copyright by the Oregon Historical Society, but I bought mine through the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center in Great Falls, MT. It sold for $9.50, $6.00 for the map and $3.50 for shipping. You can order yours from the giftshop there by calling (406) 453-6248. This, and other maps can also be found on the Library of Congress's special exhibits page.
There is also a nice collection of maps at the University of Virginia site, though most of the images are rather small.
Small, modern maps of the Lewis and Clark Trail can be requested from the National Park Service and from various state tourism departments. The Adventure Cycling Association publishes a nice set of maps of a bicycle route along the Lewis & Clark Trail. In a larger format (36" x 24") see the fine offering from Farcountry Press. For other maps, see the additional information in the section just below.
The definitive book on the subject, containing facsimiles of William Clark's many expeditionary maps is:
The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Volume 1
Atlas of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Gary E. Moulton, editor
University of Nebraska Press
This volume is finally back in print through an arrangement with the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation and the University of Nebraska Press. The retail price is around $200.00.Another useful set, is Martin Plamondon's Lewis and Clark Trail Maps: A Cartographic Reconstruction from Washington State University Press. These books show the changes of where the river beds ran in the early 1800's and where they now lie.
As mentioned above in the General Lewis and Clark Information section, the Discovering Lewis and Clark site is good source of general Lewis & Clark information. However, there are a few sites that are dedicated to presentation of Lewis & Clark material as a curriculum for use by teachers. Recommended sites are the Lewis and Clark Education Project, the Lewis & Clark's Expedition - Curriculum Ideas & Education Resources site, the Lewis & Clark Re-Discovery Project, and the Jefferson National Expansion Museum's Education/Teacher Resources page.
Traveling the Lewis and Clark Trail
If you are planning a trip along the Lewis and Clark Trail, I recommend that you visit Lewis and Clark Trail - Re-live the Adventure and / or Lewis and Clark 200. These sites contain a wealth of information which may be very useful to your planning efforts. Also very handy is LewisAndClark.com's Plan Your Own Expedition page.
Also see the valuable information provided by the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial's Tourism and Trail Sites pages.
A number of trail guides exist in book form and I have listed some below. An example itinerary from one of these books can be viewed at GORP's Lewis and Clark Trail : Driving the Voyage of Discovery site. All three books listed below are very useful and contain valuable information. However, I recommend the Along the Trail with Lewis and Clark book, mainly because of the wonderful maps created by Dr. Joseph Mussulman.
Along the Trail with Lewis and Clark
Fifer, Barbara and Soderberg, Vicky
with maps by Joseph Mussulman
Montana Magazine, Great Falls, MT 1998
National Geographic's Guide to the Lewis and Clark Trail
National Geographic Society, Washington, DC 1998
Traveling the Lewis and Clark Trail
Falcon Press Publishing Co., Inc., Helena, MT 2000
Artifacts and Archaeology
If you are interested in the remaining physical evidence of artifacts and on-going Lewis and Clark archaeology, then you may find the following sites useful.
Fort Clatsop National Memorial has some great, technically oriented archaeology information posted on their Archaeology web page. Also see my Report on Fort Clatsop.
To learn more about the remaining plant specimens returned by Lewis and Clark, visit the Lewis and Clark Herbarium site of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA. Also see their digital imagery set entitled The Lewis and Clark Herbarium.
Finally, to examine the Indian artifacts returned by the expedition, visit the Peabody Museum's wonderful Ethnography of Lewis and Clark site.
For further info, see my list of Visual Sources and Artifacts.
Natural History and Lewis and Clark
Lewis and Clark (Lewis especially) discovered a number of new plant and animal species on their trek to the Pacific and back. However, most of their scientific data went unpublished and remained unknown for many years. The web has a few offerings on these aspects, but I also recommend some books below:
See lists of the plants and animals discovered by Lewis & Clark.
See the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (USGS) page on Birds and Mammals Observed by Lewis & Clark.
Dr. Mussulman's Discovering Lewis and Clark site offers a section on the Natural History aspects of the journey.
To learn more about the remaining plant specimens returned by Lewis and Clark, visit the Lewis and Clark Herbarium site of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA.
Also of interest is:
Flora and Fauna (recorded at Ft. Clatsop)
Lewis and Clark : Pioneering Naturalists
Paul Russell Cutright
Brompton Books Corp.
Widely available (such as at Amazon).
The Natural History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Raymond Darwin Burroughs (Editor), Robert Carriker (Introduction)
Michigan State University Press
Also widely available (such as at Amazon).
The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Volume 12
Herbarium of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Gary E. Moulton, William Clark, Meriwether Lewis
University of Nebraska Press
Due for release: July, 1999, $65.00
Volume 12 contains the most complete listing of the plant specimens catalogued by the Lewis and Clark expedition. All but one of the plants were collected by Meriwether Lewis, the most skilled botanist among the expedition's members. The collection, however, was nearly lost over the years due to its scattering among various botanists who intended to catalog the expedition's scientific discoveries. Fortunately, Gary E. Moulton tracked down the various specimens and here brings together 239 photographs of the vast array of flora that Lewis gathered. This invaluable volume will assist researchers and enthusiasts hoping to identify each plant's location, distribution, and use along the expedition's route.
The Lewis and Clark Collections of Vascular Plants: Names, Types, and Comments
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 149:1-64, 1999
James L. Reveal, Gary E. Moulton, and Alfred E. Schuyler
Orders should be sent to:Also see the Academy of Natural Science's digital imagery set entitled The Lewis and Clark Herbarium.
Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1195
Payment should be in advance with order.
Checks should be made payable to the Academy of Natural Sciences.